Business phone services have become increasingly sophisticated due to the advances in digital technology. Modern phone service capabilities can include teleconferencing, global long distance service, voice over IP technology (VoIP) and integrated service digital network (ISDN), which integrates voice and data together. Knowing some business phone service key terms used in the industry can help you navigate advances in this technology.
VoIP (Voice over IP), voice over Internet protocol
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is the process of converting voice into data that can be sent over the Internet. Using the Internet for voice calls can often save money as telephone and data needs are serviced together (either through cable or DSL) and there is not a need for a separate phone system.
PBX (Private branch exchange)
PBX is a private telephone network that a business can use. It is a telephone switching program that connects internal users. Plus, it allows users to share several telephone lines for calling individuals external to the company.
ITSP (Internet telephony service provider), VoIP service provider
An Internet telephony service provider is one that provides voice telephone service over the Internet.
ISDN (Integrated services digital network)
ISDN is the method of transmitting voice and data over telephone wires through the use of circuit switches. The two types of ISDN are basic rate interface (BRI) and primary rate interface (PRI). Businesses typically use primary rate interface ISDN since it provides more channels for sending voice and data.
DID (Direct inward dialing)
Direct inward dialing means that the local phone company provides a business with a range of telephone numbers to link into a PBX. As a result, outside callers can use a separate number to call an extension. This means that each extension on a PBX can have a unique phone number accessible to outside callers.
SIP (Session initiation protocol) trunking
SIP trunking is the use of voice over IP with a PBX. It helps to connect the PBX to the Internet.